Our Music Conservatory is Unique
Xian Yun Academy of the Arts offers a pre-professional music program in an outstanding academic environment. This combination leaves our students well-equipped to succeed in universities and professional conservatories.
Our music curriculum is firmly rooted in classical music. It is comprised of high-level private and ensemble lessons as well as academic courses on music theory and composition. We help students attain a foundation in professional music and develop a portfolio for college applications.
The Music Department classes consist of a combination of requirements and electives. These courses include Music Theory, Ear Training, Composition, Music History, Chamber Ensemble, Choir and Classical Vocal Workshop. The curriculum is designed so that as students’ progress from lower school into their high school years.
The focus of the music department curriculum is private instruction with our academy faculty. Each student has two weekly 30-60-minute private lessons on his or her principal instrument. These lessons prepare students for performances, competitions, studio sessions, senior recitals, and ultimately, college auditions.
Chamber performance ensemble focuses on developing individual musicianship through a small group setting. Students will work on specific repertoire with an ensemble coach while developing note reading skills, intonation, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, and balance. Ensembles will study individual and group practice and rehearsal techniques, interpretive and stylistic decisions as an ensemble, and performance skills.
Music Theory I & II
These two courses, taught in the first and second years, establish a strong foundation in music theory and ear training. They cover many topics, including scales, intervals, key signatures, and harmony. Students work on notation as well as sight singing and aural identification.
AP® Music Theory
This course offers an intensive study of a range of advanced topics in music theory including tone rows, transcription and analysis, and harmonic function. It is offered to third and fourth years who have completed Theory I and II. Students who complete this course will be well prepared to take the AP Music Theory exam.
This course offers a hands-on application of a variety of composition techniques using notation software. This is an elective course that can be taken once a student has passed Theory II.
Piano Lab I introduces basic piano skills to students with little to no piano experience, focusing on beginner piano pieces, scales, and chords. Piano Lab II furthers the study of the piano, focusing on more intermediate material and skills. Both levels also incorporate material currently being studied in each student’s Theory and Ear Training classes, applying those topics to the piano. Students will graduate from these courses with the understanding of the piano as an instrument, as a tool to further study music outside of their primary instrument, and with the preparedness to pass a basic piano audition for a music program at the collegiate level.
Studio class meets once a week, during which time students perform for their peers and faculty in a masterclass setting. Pieces are workshopped and critiqued with the aim of discussing rehearsal, practice and performance techniques with the entire department.
This two-year course is a survey of the genres, styles, famous composers, and their compositions, as seen throughout the development of Western Art Music. Students observe the elements of music over a variety of time periods, from the Medieval (starting with Gregorian chant) to Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century (through present), and contextualize history’s musical achievements as they relate to the historical philosophies and events of their time.
Classical Vocal Workshop
Classical Vocal Workshop is a course designed to explore and implement the tools, resources, and practices of the classical vocalist. In this class voice majors study topics such as foreign language diction and enunciation, vocal health and pedagogy, performance practice, the history of opera and oratorio, and the history of art song. Students also prepare and perform vocal solos, small ensemble pieces, choral pieces, opera scenes, and a yearly classical vocal recital with themes which may include French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and English art song.